MOVES Volunteer Information

Overview of MOVES Program

MOVES is designed to effectively and efficiently put well-trained volunteers into schools that lack sufficient resources to provide remedial support (i.e., interventions) for all struggling learners. In our work with numerous schools and districts, we find that just about every school can benefit from free, highly-skilled support.

To provide schools with this much-needed support, MOVES staff recruit and train community volunteers to use academic intervention programs (for reading, writing, and math) that have shown through research to improve students' learning. A MOVES coordinator works with the school and the volunteers to ensure that volunteers are assisting in a way that efficiently aligns with the school's schedule and the teachers' needs.

MOVES volunteers may be trained in intervention programs already being implemented by educators within the school, or they may be trained in an intervention program that is new to the school.

The bottom line is that our volunteers greatly contribute by using research-based educational programs with the students who otherwise are not receiving the intervention because of time-limited school personnel.

What is required to be a MOVES volunteer?

  1. Volunteers should enjoy working with elementary-aged students.
  2. Each volunteer will be trained in at least one academic program. To successfully learn the kinds of intervention programs we provide for our students and schools, volunteers will attend a training workshop to learn the academic program. No prior teaching experience is required, but volunteers must demonstrate after the workshop that they can successfully use the program they learned.
  3. Volunteers generally commit at least 3 hours per week, but can commit more hours if desired.
  4. Volunteers will work with students during elementary school hours (approx. between the hours of 8:30 am - 4:30 pm), but some MOVES volunteers may assist later in the day at community after-school programs. The MOVES Program aims to schedule volunteers on consistent days and times each week so they are most effective, build meaningful relationships with students, and get the most from the volunteer experience.

Benefits of the MOVES Program for students, schools, and volunteers

The MOVES program generates a variety of short- and long-term benefits for the students receiving assistance. In the short-term, MOVES works to ensure that at least 80% of participating students will perform above expected levels of learning growth in the area targeted for intervention (e.g., reading, math, or writing). MOVES volunteers also build positive relationships with the students. In the long-term, the short-term impacts help to provide students with the tools they need to be successful in later schooling and in life.

For schools and teachers, MOVES gets their struggling learners (that is, the students who otherwise would not have the needed support due to time-limited school personnel) the assistance they need and deserve. Consistent with the mission of the Helps Education Fund, this important support for schools and teachers is free and is only possible with well-trained and dedicated volunteers.

Our MOVES volunteers also greatly benefit from the experience. Here are just some of the benefits reported by our volunteers:

  • Positive feelings that come with helping others, building relationships, and making a positive difference in the community.
  • Experiences that help to better understand others and one's self.
  • Improvements in teaching and training skills.
  • Improvements in other forms of professional development.
  • Important skills and experience for resume building.
  • Expanded social networks among other volunteers.

How the MOVES Program is Unique from Other Volunteer Programs

We know from sound research, and from our experience with MOVES, exactly what is needed in a successful school volunteer program. A successful volunteer program can be defined as one that improves student learning while also being feasible and enjoyable to both volunteers and schools. In short, not all volunteer programs are the same, and many do not offer the following key ingredients that research has shown to be necessary for a successful volunteer program.

These key ingredients, all of which are integrated into the MOVES program, are:

  1. The intervention programs used by the volunteers are structured and have research evidence of being effective.
  2. There is a designated volunteer coordinator (i.e., MOVES Program coordinator) knowledgeable about academic instruction.
  3. The volunteer tutors are well-trained and systemically verified to be well-trained.
  4. There is coordination between the tutoring activities and the student’s classroom instruction.

As stated above, the MOVES Program integrates all of these elements in order to maximize success for the students and the volunteers, as well as to meaningfully support teachers and schools.

Contact the MOVES Coordinator

  • Are you interested in supporting the academic success of struggling students?
  • Would you like to have a positive impact on the lives of children?
  • Do you want to know more about MOVES?
  • Are you interested in becoming a MOVES volunteer?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the questions above, please contact the MOVES Program Coordinator, Lauren Joyce, at: